From time to time we get people that call and ask if we create birthday cards. I am always careful to say that we can create whatever you want us to create, but we need guidance from you as to what to create. You can’t just say “I want a birthday card for my 12 year old that has penguins on it”, because you wouldn’t want to pay the design cost associated with such a wide latitude of direction, especially for just one card. Even a plain design will end up running you $10 or so for just the one card.
So sure enough we get a lady who comes in and asks us if we can design a birthday card for her father. I tell her the above information, and then ask her what kind of a card she was looking for and how fast did she need it. “You don’t have stock cards like the Hallmark store?, she asks. I explain to her how we are generally more business oriented and do just about everything custom and her eyes lit up a bit. “So I can get a card custom made for my dad?” she asks? “Sure, but our rate is $60 per hour so depending on what you would like it may not be a cost effective choice.”
“Well, his birthday is Saturday ( it was a Monday when she came in ) and I really like those ones that you open up and they have a design that pops up like an old children’s book. Can we got one of those that pops up into a likeness of my father?”, she asks. I was actually silent for about a minute. I had no idea how to answer that as all that kept coming to the forefront was a bunch of smart-ass replies. I had to take into account that she just is probably just ignorant as to the production and design processes that would go into such a card and was probably made that way by our instant gratification society. So I really didn’t want to be rude. So I finally just said “We don’t do those here, there is a lot of engineering and special machinery needed to make those so I really don’t think they do 1-offs.”
Now it was her turn to just stare and not say anything. For about a minute she just sat there looking at me. I just waited as there was no more for me to say. Finally she says, without a hint of any humor intended, “So you’re telling me I can’t have this by Saturday?”. How does she remember how to breathe with such limited mental capacity…